Golf Tidbits: Kaymer's win boring, but impressive

 

The Sports Network

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The question was asked on Friday whether the U.S. Open was over after Martin Kaymer opened with a pair of 65s. His lead was six strokes at that point, and it was a valid question.

Kaymer had posted the lowest 36-hole score (130) in U.S. Open history, and had become the third player in major championship history to post consecutive 65s. The only other two to do so were Tom Watson at the 1977 British Open and David Toms at the 2001 PGA Championship.

No matter the course, play always gets more difficult on the weekend at majors, but it didn't get hard enough for Kaymer to cough up his 6-stroke lead. He cushion never dipped below four, and stretched to as many as nine over the final two days.

Kaymer was on cruise control and no one was catching him. He led the field in birdies, was second in sand saves, tied for ninth in fairways hit and shared 18th in greens in regulation.

He entered the U.S. Open just 178th on the PGA Tour in scrambling, the percentage of time a player misses the green and still makes par or better. But it was those holes that he did miss the green where Kaymer really put this championship away.

Kaymer was spot on when it counted. And it was his putter that saved him. The 2010 PGA Champion putted from off the green whenever possible, and had a knack for rolling his shots from off the green to within six feet of the hole.

"I said to my caddie when we played the practice rounds, I like that you have a lot of options here. Through any experience from the British Open, I've always done fairly well to putt off the green," Kaymer stated. "And I think a bad putt is still better than a bad chip, especially with the runoffs. When you hit one fat (chip), you are pretty much in the same spot again. If I hit a bad putt, I still have a chance to make par. My putting within 10 feet this week was good. I thought if I could get it within that 8- to 10-foot circle, I have a very good chance to save par. You don't really make worse than bogey, and that's very important, I think, in majors."

He lost his touch a little bit in the final round, but it didn't matter because no one was able to make a charge.

While Kaymer was decimating the field, many pundits were comparing Kaymer's blowout to many of Tiger Woods' blowouts. The similarity in leading margin was comparable, but the adjectives used to describe the two were all over the map.

Kaymer's play was boring because he did just enough to cruise to the win. If this had been Woods doing the same, this win would have been seen as dominant or a thorough beating.

The comparison wasn't fair to Kaymer. He put together two of the greatest rounds in major championship history on Thursday and Friday, and no one could match him.

Kaymer was one of three players who posted three rounds in the 60s at Pinehurst No. 2. No player had four rounds of par or better for the week.

Whether it was compelling or boring, Kaymer put away the field with precision. It was Woods-like in how resounding the win was, but the casual fan saw a dull, boring Kaymer trouncing the field and likely turned away.

They are the ones who missed out. Though it wasn't as exciting as Woods' domination at Pebble Beach in 2000 or Rory McIlroy's resounding win at Congressional in 2011, the casual fan will shrug and say it was just another blowout.

On the surface, they are correct. One has to appreciate Kaymer's greatness over his 72 holes at Pinehurst. He became the third man in major championship history to shoot 130 for the first two rounds at a major.

Woods and McIlroy have never done that. Kaymer shares that distinction with Nick Faldo, who did it at the 1992 British Open, and Brandt Snedeker, who posted 130 at the 2012 British Open.

The greatness Kaymer showed over 36 holes carried him to his second major championship title.

Was it boring or dull? Maybe, but it was also dominant. One can only guess that Kaymer doesn't care what adjective you use, because he is only concerned that he emerged as the champion.

COMPTON WINS OVER NEW FANS

Prior to this U.S. Open Championship, Erik Compton was the two-time heart transplant recipient, who happened to be a golfer.

After this weekend, you can invert those phrases to say that Compton is a golfer, who happens to be a two-time heart transplant recipient.

Compton is still fighting for his first PGA Tour title. In fact, his second- place finish at Pinehurst No. 2 was his best career finish on tour. The fact that he was there at all is a testament to his fight.

His first heart transplant happened when he was 12. The second happened 16 years later. If you thought battling for a major championship was tough, think about this: Compton drove himself to the hospital when it was time for the second heart transplant. He knew the symptoms and didn't want to wait, so he took himself to the emergency room.

That heart beating in his chest had to have been pounding with adrenaline all weekend. Compton was battling, albeit for second place, but it was a battle nonetheless.

"You can't ever give up. I mean, we all have adversity in our lives, some are different than others. Some are more major," said Compton, when asked what he would tell people with medical challenges. "The up-and-down I made on 18 is an example of never giving up. I hit the world's worst shot into the green and then got up-and-down.

"So when you have disabilities or you have health issues, some days are really bad and then you got to try to make the best of it the next day and wake up and move your body. And I'm a perfect example of that. I've been on my back twice and I never thought I would ever leave the house. Now I just finished second at the U.S. Open, which I don't think anybody would have ever thought I would do that, not even myself. So you can't ever write yourself off, you just can't give up."

Compton has earned more than enough money to keep his tour card for next year. His second-place finish gets him a spot at his first Masters next year and he will be back at the U.S. Open as well.

He also soared 114 spots in the world golf rankings this week to No. 73. If he can get inside the top 50 in the world, Compton will have all kinds of doors opened for him as far as tournaments go.

Just to think there were times when he couldn't even open a door for himself. Now Compton is blasting through them like a wrecking ball.

MINI-TIDBITS

- For all the critics who wondered how ESPN could transition from its great World Cup coverage to Chris Berman calling golf action, what do you think is going to happen next year when Fox tries to jump from NASCAR coverage to Open coverage from Chambers Bay? From rubin' and racin' to the tranquility of golf. That will be interesting.

- From the time it was announced, I was not a fan of the USGA playing the men's and women's U.S. Opens on the same course in back-to-back weeks. But after seeing the access the women had during the men's final round Sunday, I think my concerns have eased. Some LPGA players were inside the ropes watching the action and getting useful hints on how to play the course. I'll tell you one thing, if the women had gone first and the men second, I doubt you would have seen the men following the women around the course.

Read more Golf stories from the Miami Herald

  • Golfer aces par-4 hole in Kuala Lumpur tournament

    Malaysian golfer Mohd Nazri Zain had a rare hole-in-one on a par-4 during the SapuraKencana National Qualifier tournament on Wednesday.

  • Leonard finds a charity to come first before golf

    Justin Leonard ordinarily would have played the final week of the PGA Tour's regular season, and this is one time he probably should have gone.

  • LPGA - Portland Classic Preview

    Thursday, August 28th through Sunday, August 31st Course Info Site: Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Oregon Course Architect: Vernon Macan (1925), Bob Cupp (1993) Par: 72 Yardage: 6,465 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,222 Yds 1 - Par 4 370 Yds 2 - Par 3 166 Yds 3 - Par 4 409 Yds 4 - Par 4 391 Yds 5 - Par 5 489 Yds 6 - Par 4 379 Yds 7 - Par 5 463 Yds 8 - Par 3 145 Yds 9 - Par 4 410 Yds Back Nine: 36 3,243 Yds 10 - Par 5 512 Yds 11 - Par 4 337 Yds 12 - Par 5 545 Yds 13 - Par 3 160 Yds 14 - Par 4 362 Yds 15 - Par 4 372 Yds 16 - Par 3 175 Yds 17 - Par 4 397 Yds 18 - Par 4 383 Yds Tournament Info Year: 43rd Television: Golf Channel - Thursday -- 6:30-9:30 p.m. (et), - Friday/Saturday -- 7-9:30 p.m. (et), - Sunday -- 7-9 p.m. (et) Champion: Suzann Pettersen Runner Up: Stacy Lewis Tournament Record: 268 (Suzann Pettersen, 2013) 54-Hole Record: 198 (Yani Tseng, 2013) 36-Hole Record: 130 (Pornanong Phatlum, 2013) Course Record: Total Purse: $1,300,000 Shares: 1st Place - $195,000; 2nd Place - $119,470; 3rd Place - $86,125 2013 Final Leaderboard Suzann Pettersen 268 Stacy Lewis 270 Lizette Salas 271 Cristie Kerr 272 Caroline Masson 273 Gerina Piller 274 Sandra Gal 274 Karrie Webb 275 Six players at 276 Past Winners 2013: Suzann Pettersen (268). Runner up: Stacy Lewis 2012: Mika Miyazato (203). Runner up: Inbee Park, Brittany Lincicome 2011: *Suzann Pettersen (207). Runner up: Na Yeon Choi 2010: Ai Miyazato (205). Runner up: Cristie Kerr, Na Yeon Choi 2009: *M.J. Hur (203). Runner up: Suzann Pettersen, Michele Redman 2008: *Cristie Kerr (203). Runner up: Helen Alfredsson, Sophie Gustafson 2007: Lorena Ochoa (204). Runner up: Sophie Gustafson, Mhairi McKay, Christina Kim, Inbee Park 2006: Pat Hurst (206). Runner up: Kim Saiki, Jeong Jang 2005: Soo-Yun Kang (201). Runner up: Jeong Jang 2004: *Hee-Won Han (207). Runner up: Lorie Kane 2003: Annika Sorenstam (201). Runner up: Beth Daniel 2002: Annika Sorenstam (199). Runner up: Kate Golden 2001: Not held due to tragedies of September 11th. Runner up: 2000: *Mi Hyun Kim (215). Runner up: Jeong Jang 1999: Juli Inkster (207). Runner up: Tina Barrett, Grace Park 1998: Danielle Ammaccapane (204). Runner up: Emilee Klein 1997: Chris Johnson (206). Runner up: Kim Saiki, Lisa Hackney 1996: Dottie Pepper (202). Runner up: Chris Johnson 1995: Alison Nicholas (207). Runner up: Kelly Robbins 1994: Missie McGeorge (207). Runner up: Betsy King 1993: Donna Andrews (208). Runner up: Missie McGeorge, Tina Barrett 1992: *Nancy Lopez (209). Runner up: Jane Crafter 1991: Michelle Estill (208). Runner up: Rosie Jones 1990: Patty Sheehan (208). Runner up: Danielle Ammaccapane 1989: Muffin Spencer-Devlin (214). Runner up: Nancy Lopez, Tammie Green, Susan Sanders, Dawn Coe-Jones 1988: Betsy King (213). Runner up: Colleen Walker 1987: Nancy Lopez (210). Runner up: Kelly Leadbetter, Muffin Spencer-Devlin, Jan Stephenson 1986: Ayako Okamoto (207). Runner up: Colleen Walker, Nancy Lopez 1985: Nancy Lopez (215). Runner up: Lori Garbacz 1984: Amy Alcott (212). Runner up: Kathy Baker 1983: *JoAnne Carner (212). Runner up: Charlotte Montgomery 1982: *Sandra Haynie/Kathy McMullen (196). Runner up: Sharon Barrett/Nancy Rubin, Lori Garbacz/Patti Rizzo 1981: *Donna Caponi/Kathy Whitworth (203). Runner up: JoAnne Carner/Judy Rankin 1980: Donna Caponi/Kathy Whitworth (195). Runner up: Janet Alex/Judy Clark 1979: Nancy Lopez/Jo Ann Washam (198). Runner up: Susie Berning/Carole Jo Skala 1978: *Donna Caponi/Kathy Whitworth (203). Runner up: Murle Breer/Barbara Moxness 1977: *JoAnne Carner/Judy Rankin (202). Runner up: Betty Burfeindt/Pam Higgins 1976: *Donna Caponi (217). Runner up: Clifford Ann Creed 1975: Jo Ann Washam (215). Runner up: Sandra Haynie 1974: JoAnne Carner (211). Runner up: Donna Caponi 1973: #Kathy Whitworth (144). Runner up: Sandra Palmer 1972: Kathy Whitworth (212). Runner up: Sandra Haynie * - Won in Playoff # - Rain Shortened Formerly called Safeway Classic (2001-13), Safeway LPGA Golf Championship (1996-2000), Ping-AT&T Wireless Services LPGA Golf Championship (1995), Ping-Cellular One LPGA Golf Championship (1986-94), Portland Ping Championship (1983-85), Portland Team Championship (1977-82), Portland Classic (1972-76). Top Contenders Suzann Pettersen 2004: mc 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-17 2009: T-2 2010: T-4 2011: Won 2012: T-26 2013: Won Lizette Salas 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: T-12 2013: 3rd Yani Tseng 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: mc 2009: T-34 2010: T-45 2011: T-13 2012: 11th 2013: T-9 Na Yeon Choi 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-17 2009: T-45 2010: T-2 2011: 2nd 2012: T-16 2013: T-15 Ai Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: T-25 2007: mc 2008: mc 2009: T-4 2010: Won 2011: T-8 2012: T-16 2013: T-15 Angela Stanford 2004: T-15 2005: mc 2006: 2007: T-12 2008: T-44 2009: T-8 2010: T-23 2011: mc 2012: T-19 2013: T-15 Anna Nordqvist 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 7th 2010: T-65 2011: T-13 2012: T-49 2013: T-15 Hee-Won Han 2004: Won 2005: T-10 2006: T-14 2007: 2008: 5th 2009: mc 2010: T-63 2011: T-40 2012: T-26 2013: T-26 I.K. Kim 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 80th 2008: 2009: mc 2010: T-6 2011: mc 2012: T-9 2013: T-38 Mika Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-27 2010: T-55 2011: T-13 2012: Won 2013: T-44 Mi Jung Hur 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: Won 2010: mc 2011: T-53 2012: T-44 2013: T-82 So Yeon Ryu 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: T-4 2013: NOTES: The LPGA Tour travels to Oregon this week for the Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. This tournament was previously known as the Safeway Classic. Two of the top five players in the world are in the field - defending champion Suzann Pettersen (4) and So Yeon Ryu (5).

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category